5” Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free.” (Ephesians 6:5–8 (ESV)
“Find a Job You Love to Do and You Will Never Have to Work a Day in Your Life” – Mark Twain
Unfortunately, for many people they toil at jobs that they do not particularly enjoy, let alone like. In fact, some people downright hate their jobs. They hate getting up to go to work, they hate the work they do at work, and the only enjoyment for them at work is when they punch out to go home from work.
What about Christians? What is the godly and biblical attitude we should have: not only toward our work but also toward our employer? Ephesians 6:6-8 provides us with the biblical answer.
To begin, willing employees/servants, or bondservants, are to obey their earthly masters, or employers. To obey means to comply with a either a command or a direction. The text indicates that this spirit of obedience should be accompanied with fear and trembling. Respectively, this means employees are to respect and possess a sincere loyalty towards their boss. As believers are to obey Jesus Christ with a sincere heart, so too are they to obey their employers.
Secondly, Christian workers are to perform their tasks with the attitude and perspective that they are serving Christ with a sincere heart, for this is the will of God. This is not just for those in the ministry, but for secular work also.
Thirdly, Christians are not to just work when the boss is around, or as a people pleaser who seeks to ingratiate themselves in order to get ahead in the company. They are to constantly have their work be a testimony of their faith and commitment to Christ.
The antithesis of this biblical perspective was entertainingly brought to the Broadway stage in the musical How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. The musical’s main character, J. Pierrepont Finch, works hard as a striver and people pleaser, but not at working hard.
Fourthly, the Christian’s good service, or work, is to be done for the Lord’s reputation and glory and not for men. When a worker has this perspective, even the most menial task, like sweeping a warehouse floor, can become an opportunity for praise.
With these attitudes in place, the Lord provides His disciples with a promise. Whatever a believer in Christ does for a living, they will receive back from the Lord the good they have done. It doesn’t matter what their economic status is, the Lord promises to bless.
By rendering ungrudging service to our true heavenly employer, we do not work because of our value in the marketplace, but rather we work in our devotion to the One who poured our His own life thereby displaying the beauty of the Gospel (Titus 2:9-10).
Have a blessed day at work.
Soli deo Gloria!